1996 Volume 36 Issue 1 Pages 121-132
After a brief review of the evolution of the steel industry during the past 25 years, some basic definitions are presented, including that of industrial ecology, advanced materials, and ''green'' materials. Then, we discuss the environmental problems that are inherently associated with both conventional and novel steel processing technologies, touching on pollution control, waste minimization and recycling. The important conclusion is reached that when modern technologies are employed, steel is both an advanced material and a green material. Particularly noteworthy in the finding is that steel is one of the most recycled materials in current use. The paper concludes with the enumeration of the tasks ahead and with the definition of the steelplant of the future, which will have to be clean, environmentally benign, located close to the customer and will produce no waste. Indeed, it may derive significant revenue streams from the treatment of wastes produced by other idustrial activities. By its very nature, the future steelplant will have to use some mixture of scrap and virgin iron units. It will be frugal on energy, highly flexible in operation, and will expolit synergies with other industrial systems.